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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 8

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Chapter 8

So in chapter 8 he continues in this prediction of the Assyrian invasion.

Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz ( Isaiah 8:1 ).

And that is interpreted, it's a Hebrew name that means, or word that means, "Haste ye, haste ye to the spoil." Quite a name.

And I took me a faithful witness to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah. And I went unto the prophetess [that is his wife]; and she conceived, and she bore a son. Then said the LORD unto me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria ( Isaiah 8:2-4 ).

So he went out unto his wife and she conceived, bore a son. God said, "Call him Mahershalalhashbaz because before this kid is three years old, can say Mama and Daddy, Syria is going to get wiped out by Assyria. Damascus will be overrun by the Assyrians."

The LORD spake also unto me again, saying, Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and they rejoice in Rezin and in Remaliah's son [who is Pekah]: Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all of his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks ( Isaiah 8:5-8 ):

So it's speaking figuratively. It's going to be like a flood. Assyrians are going to come and they're going to take both Syria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which indeed did happen.

And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken to pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, it shall come to nothing; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us ( Isaiah 8:8-10 ).

So he is challenging now this confederacy. You think that you're going to join together and wipe out God's people? Not going to make it. God isn't going to let it stand, for God is with us.

For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all of those to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye, nor be afraid ( Isaiah 8:11-12 ).

The idea of two nations getting together to fight against one was an awesome thing indeed. And so that word, "Oh, there's a confederacy," just really struck terror into the hearts of the people. Really was wiping them out. And so the Lord said, "Hey, just forget that stuff, because it's not going to stand."

Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; let him be your fear, let him be your dread ( Isaiah 8:13 ).

Don't be afraid of what man can do or what a confederacy might do. You better be afraid of what God is going to do. Jesus said, "Don't be fearful of those who can kill your body, and after that have no power. But rather fear Him who after the body is dead is able to cast both soul and spirit into hell. Yea, I say unto you, fear ye Him" ( Luke 12:4-5 ). For God shall be for a sanctuary.

And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a gin [or a trap] and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem ( Isaiah 8:14 ).

Now, here again is one of those prophecies that suddenly just flashes the flash of the Messiah again. Even as Jesus became a stumbling stone to the Jew, a rock of offense. And Paul the apostle refers how that Jesus, "We preach unto you Christ crucified. To the Jew a stumbling stone, to the Greek foolishness. But unto us who are saved, the power of God unto salvation" ( 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 ). So Christ became a stumbling stone to the Jew. And even as it is prophesied here.

And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the LORD, that hides his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs ( Isaiah 8:15-18 )

Now this is Isaiah. He and his children, their names especially were to be for signs.

and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwells in mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto the wizards those that peep, and mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them ( Isaiah 8:18-20 ).

Now people were looking to the spiritists to guide them. They were looking to a communication with the dead for guidance, for instruction, for wisdom. And God speaks out against this. Should you not actually seek a living God rather than the spirit of a departed dead person? And yet, it's amazing how many people today are involved in spiritism, who are seeking to communicate with spirits, the spirits of the dead. And how many feel that they have actually come into contact with the spirits of dead people. So many people into this who are writers and all who have guides who direct them in their writings. Some famous author of the past, and they feel that they are guiding them and so forth, spirit guides. And people are looking to the dead for advice and for counsel. But should you not be seeking the living God for counsel? And to the law of God and to His testimony? "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 8". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-8.html. 2014.
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